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Solo Travel Destination Bangkok: A cultural adventure in Southeast Asia.
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Bangkok is young for an Asian city. Its history only dates back about two centuries. Like many cities worldwide, it began on as a settlement at the base of a river. In the case of Bangkok, it was the Chao Phraya River. English is widely spoken there, and I found it easy to navigate as a woman solo traveler. However, whenever I travel abroad alone, I don’t wander around alone after dark but take taxis to specific restaurants or nightlife.
If you are traveling alone without an existing plan, I recommend sampling different types of tours. In each of my four-five days in Bangkok, I tried something different each day. The first day I took a small group half-day city tour. This really helped me as a first time visitor to get a feel for the city. We saw multiple major tourist sights including the Wat or Temple Arun and most memorably for me, the Wat Pho with its famous room- long Reclining Buddha. I quickly fell in love with the ornate Khmer architecture seen all over Thailand and Cambodia in temples and royal palaces. I had not been aware of how intertwined the history of these two countries were in past centuries.
The second day I took a large tour to the ancient capital of Ayutthaya. Originally dating to the 14th century, it was largely destroyed in the 18th century but contains interesting ruins. En route, the highlight for me was a morning tour of the Summer Palace. You don’t want to miss it while staying in Bangkok! In addition to traditional architecture, it had a number of buildings that were surprisingly European in style. My return to Bangkok was via a river cruise. I quickly discovered that Bangkok looked very different from the water. The next day I took a private guide who showed me how to use the subway. The highlight of the day was a trip to the Grand Palace and Wat Prakaew (Temple of the Emerald Buddha) in the center of Bangkok. This 18th century complex and museum can easily fill up most of a day. It was the highlight of my stay in Bangkok. (One tip for both men and women: Modest dress is required in the royal palaces and temple grounds. At the entrance, there is generally a staff member that checks for appropriate dress. For example, Capri pants may not be acceptable rather than ankle-length jeans or slacks. Be sure to check before going as to the requirements. I did find in SE Asia, there were often “loaners”, including long skirts that could be used as a temporary cover-up. I recommend despite the heat wearing socks. Why is that? In many sites, each visitor had to remove socks before entering. I quickly discovered how hot the marble entry way could be.)
There is plenty of shopping in traditional shops, weekend street stalls as well as floating markets.
You will find Bangkok a wonderful standalone destination or a great connection to Phuket or elsewhere in Asia and Southeast Asia.
The 5 star InterContinental Bangkok is centrally located in the heart of the city. As a result, it is a good choice for a vacation or business travel. Although it was elegant, the prices were much less than the same quality in Europe or elsewhere. The service was excellent and quick. When I arrived at the last minute from Vietnam, I had less than 45 minutes to leave off my bag and arrange a city tour. The concierge scheduled the tour and pick-up, and I was on my way on time! Each day thereafter, they efficiently and warmly assisted me in setting up group and private tours. By the last day, they were able to direct me for my own independent, free-lance tour using the subways.
For dinners, I generally went to the Intercontinental Bangkok’s 30+ story rooftop swimming pool and snack bar. It was the perfect place to watch the sunset and have a tropical drink. There were several dinner options at the poolside which were relatively inexpensive. In addition to the main dining room, the connecting building had several other restaurants. My favorite was the Indian restaurant on the lower level. There is also a Holiday Inn right across the driveway. They had a large buffet for somewhere around $10. A real help to stay on budget!
The guest rooms are stylish. They include all the modern conveniences from flat-screen cable/satellite TV to a DVD player. The in-house spa offers massages, and facials. Alternatively, you can workout in the fitness center. It is well-equipped for an independent routine. It also has group yoga classes.
Service is first-rate making your stay very comfortable and stress-free. Nearby are luxury shopping malls and world class medical centers. Located just across from the SkyTrain, public transportation is easily available from the hotel.
Follow the link for the best daily pricing at the InterContinental Bangkok for this Solo Travel Destination Bangkok. Alternatively, return to our home page and use our Booking.com search box for other lodging options from 5 star to unrated bed and breakfasts or short-term rentals.